PREVIEW | Centenary Shield vs Northern Ireland



Centenary Shield | U18 Boys’ International


Press Release: Friday, February 24, 2017


Schools select take on Northern Ireland in Bangor


Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland


PADDY O’REILLY’S SCHOOLS SELECT will make the short journey to Clandeboye Park, Bangor FC for their second outing of this season’sInspiresport Centenary Shield which will kick off at 3pm on Thursday, March 2.


The Republic of Ireland were fortunate to snatch a late winner at Home Farm FC last Thursday as substitute Seán McDonald of Clonkeen College came off the bench to convert from the penalty spot in injury time. St. Andrew’s scholar Neil Farrugia had opened the scoring for the hosts just before the interval but this was cancelled out by another substitute appearance as Conor Harwood netted before the hour mark. McDonald was on hand to dispatch the match winner in the 92nd minute for O’Reilly’s charges. A valuable three points claimed in a closely contested opener which sees them sit top of the leader board with just one game played!


Frank Wilson’s side will open their 2017 account with home advantage. The squad have enjoyed a great trial process which has ensured an extended squad to play around with, “Our preparations have been going very well, quoted Wilson.  After 12 weeks of an intensive trial process, we finally picked our squad for the Shield. 


Friendly games at home to Australia and away in Jersey over the past couple of months have been very beneficial as they gave the team much needed time together on and off the pitch.We currently have 22 members of the squad training which we have brought down to 18 for the Republic game. We have made one change from the squad that went to Jersey with an injured Jack Henderson being replaced by Lorcan Forde.”


Next Thursday’s outing will be an exciting encounter as it’s always a hard battle between these two sides. O’Reilly’s has enjoyed a spell of luck in previous encounters with Wilson’s side. They played out a scoreless draw last season in Arklow which served up a few talking points. There was dramatic action in 2015 which saw each side awarded a penalty in either half with a theatrical win for the Republic in Ballinamallard. St. Benildus College starlet Aaron Robinson opened the scoring for the visitors with 17 minutes on the clock. However a brace from Conor Ellis (Coláiste Pobal Bheanntraí), with a penalty just before the interval converted in style as well as a 78th minute screamer was enough to see of a Mark Skyes equaliser in the 53rd minute and a penalty in the 96th minute!       


The North are definitely showing form as they drew 1-1 with Australia at Seaview last month while the Republic of Ireland lost 0-2 to the Kiwi’s. The Northerners have enjoyed the competitive outing of the Jersey tournament to test a few players and various playing formations. It will definitely be a good test for both sides as they try and gage their squads for the remaining fixtures in this season’s Inspiresport Centenary Shield contest.


The penultimate fixture for O’Reilly will see them travel to Glasgow to take on the Scots on April 6 while the big test will come as defending Champions England enjoy a visit to Home Farm on April 13.


REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Paul MARTIN (Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown) James CARROLL (St. Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda), Darryl WALSH (St. Declan’s Community College, Waterford), Evan MURPHY (St. Enda’s College, Salthill), Shane BLANEY (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Alec BYRNE (Carrigaline Community School), John MAHON (Coola Post Primary School), John MARTIN (Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown), Ronan MANNING (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Neill BYRNE (Dunshaughlin Community College), Neil FARRUGIA (St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock), Seán McDONALD (Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Tunmise SOBOWALE (Mount Sion CBS, Waterford), Connor GORMLEY (Loreto Community School, Milford), Conor LAYNG (Athlone Community College), Jamie BELL (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar), Vinny QUINLAN (Gorey Community School), Steven NOLAN (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall)


NORTHERN IRELAND: Conor Larkin (Drumcree College), Christopher Crane & Eamon Scannell (both Corpus Christi College), Eoin Toal (St. Patrick’s, Armagh), Daniel Reynolds, Fra Nolan, Conall Young & Aaron Donnelly (all Belfast Met), Bobby Burns (St. Malachy’s College), Andy Scott (Drumragh Integrated College), Lorcan Forde (Abbey Grammar, Newry), Niall Owens (St. Michael’s College),  Ryan Strain Caolin Coyle (both Northern Regional College), Deccy Dunne (Mercy College), Thomas Roscoe (Wallace High School), Matthew Kirk (St. Columb’s College), Jack O’Mahony (Slemish College)


2017 Centenary Shield


February 16         Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales                       Home Farm FC, Whitehall (2.30pm)


March 2                Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland  Clandeboye Park, Bangor (3pm)

March 3                Scotland vs England                                        Cappielow Park, Greenock (7pm)

March 17              Wales vs Scotland                                             Bala FC (7pm)

March 24             England vs Northern Ireland                        Torquay United FC (7pm)

March 31              Northern Ireland vs Scotland                       Cliftonville, Belfast (3pm)

April 6                   Scotland vs Republic of Ireland                  Renfrew Park, Glasgow (7pm)

April 12                  Wales vs Northern Ireland                             Cardiff Metropolitan University FC (7pm)

April 13                  Republic of Ireland vs England                   Home Farm FC, Whitehall (7pm)

April 21                  England vs Wales                                              Bristol Rovers FC (7pm)